Top Ten Reasons for Trying Six Meter CW

de Wes AC5K:

10) We need to “burn in” our newly assigned CW Ops’ 6 meter meeting frequency of 50.098 MHz.

9) Your hand will not get tired from long QSOs, because the nature of 6 meters is such that conditions change VERY quickly, so everyone just exchanges quick reports while the band is open.

8) You will be utilizing a new band on that expensive radio that you convinced your spouse you just had to have.

7) You will finally have that excuse you have been waiting for to memorize your grid square.

6) 50 new states, 6 new continents, and tons of new grids and countries to chase. You can also be the DX by going out and activating a rare grid square.

5) Antennas do not have to be super high for successful contacts. I spent my first two seasons on the band with a small loop at 17 feet.

4) Antennas for 6 meters are smaller that those needed for HF, but you should be horizontally polarized for greatest success.

3) The main seasonal peak for Sporadic E propagation is in mid summer just when the HF bands are in their seasonal decline. There is also a minor peak in mid winter. Use “DX Sherlock” to spot openings, it takes cluster spots and plots them on a continually updating map to visually show where the Es clouds are and who is being worked.

2) You will expand your vocabulary (the 4 letter words that is), and have an opportunity to finally drink up all that old liquor in your cabinet. This is because the 6 meter band can be VERY frustrating between openings, and there is no band that can be as dead as 6 is sometimes.

1) And the Number ONE reason for trying Six Meter CW is: (drum roll) Six meters is super fun! Conditions can turn from “tragic” to “magic” in just a few short minutes. Just when you are ready to rip down your antenna and burn your radio, the band will suddenly reward you with a great opening. You never know who or where you will work next. The flakiness of this band is actually what makes it addictively fun!

(From CW Ops, posted here with permission)



  5 comments for “Top Ten Reasons for Trying Six Meter CW

  1. June 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I think 6m must attract a different personality type than those who DX on other bands. Even 160m offers more frequent reward for time spent in front of the radio. A bit over a week ago, there was a brief opening on 6m that coincided with me being there to make use of it and, although I admit it was fun while it lasted, the band is now dead – its usual state.

    Which makes me wonder: what is it that compels dedicated 6m DXers to wait and wait and wait…?

  2. June 20, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Actually the QRP calling frequency is 50.096.

    And 6 meters QRP or otherwise is a lot of fun. Did VUCC CW on 6 meters. Back when conditions were much better than now though…

    • June 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      I can’t imagine DXing on 6m without internet access (DX Summit, DX Sherlock, etc). I know Old Timers who’ve told me that they either used a squelched dedicated receiver or the old TV channel 2 to indicate possible band openings…failing indications from those, they wouldn’t even bother to pull up a chair rigside.

      Every now and then in my pre-6m-capable days while driving home from work I’ve noticed strange conditions on the FM broadcast band, ie the usual local stations being QRMed from more distant stations not normally copiable. I’ll be paying extra attention next time that happens as I’ve been told it’s a pretty good indication of a 6m opening.

  3. Wes, AC5K
    June 23, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Another easy indicator of sporadic E openings on 6m is when there is short skip on 10m. If you are hearing short skip on 10, you can bet that there is a good sporadic E opening on 6. Works every time.

  4. June 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    “the band is now dead – its usual state” like 10, 12, 15, etc.

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